Biden Admin Panders To Eco–Groups Quietly Banning Transport Of Fossil Fuels By Train, Reversing Trump-Era Rule

 September 6, 2023

In a victory for environmental groups, the Biden administration quietly rescinded a Trump-era regulation, allowing companies to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) via railcars. Reportedly, the Sierra Club along with other environmental organizations, like Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council and Food & Water Watch, have argued that allowing LNG transportation could lead to mass devastation. They have stated that highly flammable and vulnerable to devastating explosions, LNG could destroy communities which railroads cut through.

Led by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, (D) PA, Democratic lawmakers, wrote to Pete Buttigieg,Transportation Secretary, earlier this year asking for a permanent ban on LNG transportation via rail. In their letter they specifically pointed to the safety risks cited by environmental groups.

This circumstance is a part of the larger attack, by the extreme progressive left, who continue to be obsessed with dealing whatever blow possible, in the guise of “environmental safety”. These “green” eco-organizations are the very voters that Biden is pandering to, as the 2024 elections approach. That his administration seeks the approval of these groups is appalling, especially since, whether they are touting safety for American communities or reducing emissions, that fact is that, they are essentially replacing clean American resources with foreign fuels, which disregard not only the economic disaster it creates here at home, but adds emissions to the very environment they purport to want to save.

As such, on Friday and ahead of the holiday weekend, the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) formally suspended the 2020 authorization of LNG transportation in rail tank-cars. The rule will remain in effect until either a permanent rule regarding LNG rail tank car transportation is proposed and finalized. The process may take several months or expires in June 30, 2025.

Patrick Grenter, the Director of eco group, Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign said in a statement-

"We are encouraged by the decision to suspend the dangerous practice of transporting highly flammable LNG by rail through communities,"…"We have seen the destruction that an accident can cause to communities bordering the railway route, often communities most impacted by pollution and we support any step that will keep it from happening again," adding… "We urge PHMSA to make the only reasonable decision available to them: make the suspension permanent and ban LNG by rail once and for all."

Patrick Grenter, Director of Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign

The rulemaking, according to PHMSA, helps the federal government avoid potential risks to public health and environmental consequences. This includes "direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.". The agency stated the rule also provides sufficient time to complete ongoing testing and evaluation efforts regarding LNG rail transportation. They added that the ruling also allows development of mitigation measures for such transportation.

Matt Smith, a director with Food & Water Watch, reportedly said in a statement -

"This victory can, and must, go deeper," …"The Biden administration should take action to eliminate the threat of fracked gas bomb trains entirely, and it must do more to stop new fossil fuel projects across the country."

-Matt Smith, a Director with Food & Water Watch

Back in June of 2020, the then Trump administration announced it had finalized the rule, green-lighting the rail shipment of LNG. Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, said the agency had put new safeguards in place to prevent dangerous accidents. However, shortly after the rule was implemented, a coalition of environmental groups and Democratic-led states sued PHMSA over the rule.

The 2020 rule, however, was supported by Republican lawmakers and states, and the rail industry, which said it was committed to freight rail transportation safety. Reportedly, on Friday, Railway Supply Institute President Patty Long said-

"The extended hold of the rule for transporting LNG by rail is disappointing,",,, "Transporting LNG has a proven safety record, and with our country continuing to face rising energy prices, we should be incentivizing critical infrastructure that can provide additional capacity to the U.S." …"We should not have to rely on foreign sources of LNG to meet demand in certain parts of the country,"

-Patty Long, Railway Supply Institute President

Also, in late 2021, Long also penned a letter to PHMSA in response to a proposal to suspend the LNG rail rule, similarly arguing industry was prepared to safely transport the fossil fuel. Senior counsel for major freight company CSX, Daniel Schmitt, also warned at the time, that suspension of the 2020 regulations would impose significant cost burdens on the company and could inadvertently impose safety and environmental risks.

Ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Ted Cruz, (R)TX , said the action late last week was the latest "salvo" in the Biden administration's war on energy. Cruz said-

"Today, the Biden administration has fired another salvo in its war on American energy by essentially prohibiting the movement of LNG by rail,"… "America is a leader in reducing carbon emissions largely because the of the United States' development and use of natural gas. The energy renaissance we are seeing in this country is producing enormous environmental benefits." Adding…

"LNG by rail would give Americans, particularly those who have limited energy choices because of geography, an affordable and environmentally-responsible option to meet their energy needs,"…"By removing this option, the radical environmentalists in the Biden administration have delivered a further setback to American prosperity and national security."…"This is yet another example of why the Biden administration cannot be trusted to implement pro-domestic energy policies."

-Sen. Ted Cruz, (R)TX

Since the truth apparently doesn’t really matter, in a very telling quote, from Benjamin Franta, Science Historian at Stanford University, regarding why environmental lobbying can be so hard he said-

 "The tricky part is that lobbying is most effective if nobody knows that you're doing it,"

- Benjamin Franta, Stanford University
Copyright 2024 Patriot Mom Digest